Spireas are generally bulletproof shrubs, easily found at most garden centres. Many of us are familiar with the ubiquitous bridal wreath variety (Spiraea x vanhouttei), blooming in early June. New cultivars of Japanese spirea (S. japonica) are popular, too.
Visits to public gardens won’t possible for several weeks because of closures due to the pandemic, but some gardens have created special virtual tours to help us keep in touch with these beautiful treasures. We take inspiration from them, discover new plants and techniques, and enjoy the camaraderie of being with like-minded friends who might be with us.
Wide ribbons of rosy-coloured hellebores are weaving through our shady border as the crocus and snowdrops recede. Now that I’ve pruned back most of last year’s spent leaves, their nodding flowers on strong stems can be better appreciated.
Now is a good time to revisit the concept of Victory Gardens, the vegetable plots planted in Canada during the Second World War to provide fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as demonstrate patriotism and solidarity. We could do with some solidarity.